Responsible dog owner licence

We want to encourage and support responsible dog ownership, so we offer reduced dog registration fees for people who can show they are responsible dog owners.


How to be a responsible dog owner

To apply to become a responsible dog owner you can either:

  • complete our online application
  • pay online or pay in person at our offices at 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt; or the Animal Services office at 21 Meachen Street, Seaview.

Responsible Dog Owner application

You will be recognised as a responsible dog owner (RDO) if you meet the following conditions and requirements:

  • your annual dog registration fees are paid on time
  • your dog has free access to a fully-enclosed containment area on your property (this doesn't have to be a fully-fenced garden or yard)
  • in the last year, your dog has not been impounded, or been the subject of a substantiated public complaint, or received an infringement notice
  • you have not received any convictions under the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw: Part 2 - Animals; the Dog Control Act 1996; or the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

The application fee for RDO status is $65. This fee is on top of the annual re-registration fee for your dog(s), which is reduced for owners with RDO status.

Note: Before you apply, make sure you meet the responsible dog owner (RDO) criteria set out above. There is no refund if we decline your RDO application.

If you already have responsible dog ownership, you don't need to reapply each year. However, you will lose your RDO status and have to reapply if you:

  • are late paying your dog re-registration fees
  • don't maintain RDO requirements.

For the discount to take effect in your next invoice, you need to submit your RDO application by 30 April of that year.

We'll process any applications we receive after 30 April, from August onwards. We'll apply any discount earned to your next registration period.

If you move to a new address in Hutt City, you’ll need to complete and submit an RDO transfer application to keep your RDO status.

Transfer RDO status application form